Updated: Sunday, 17th November 2019 @ 5:12pm

Food for thought: Nearly HALF of Manchester year six pupils 'obese or overweight'

Food for thought: Nearly HALF of Manchester year six pupils 'obese or overweight'

| By Alex Peace

A staggering 40% of year six pupils in Manchester are either overweight or obese, according to new figures.

The statistics, released following the National Child Measurement Programme, reveal that one in four (25%) children living in the City Council authority are recorded as overweight.

The rest of Greater Manchester’s authorities don’t fare much better - Wigan, Salford and Oldham all saw 35% of year six pupils recorded as overweight or obese.

The amount of children recorded as obese in Manchester more than doubles between reception and year 6 – rising from 11.7% to 24.8% in just seven years.

A separate study released today by King's College London showed that while national obesity rates among the under-10s were dropping, it was still rising among 11-15-year-olds

Sarah Vince-Cain, Paediatric Dietitian at Central Manchester University Hospitals, said: “We have got a huge issue to tackle in Manchester and in the country.

"Everyone needs to put this in their minds. It’s really dangerous."

This week has been National Obesity Awareness week and Ms Vince-Cain believes more needs to be done with so many children recorded as overweight or obese before even beginning school.

“We have got a huge piece of work to tackle before children even start school," she said. 

"Then we need to work out why children are putting on weight and when they are putting on weight. Is it year one, year two etc. or is it consistent?”

The findings revealed that the obesity issue was especially prominent in deprived areas, and Ms Vince-Cain believes more work needs to be done to work out why this is.

She said: “It could be there is less access to disposal income or that there is simply less money available to spend on food or that there is less access to recreational areas.”

Image courtesy of Gaulsstin, with thanks.